February 22, 2018 / 10:52 AM / 7 months ago

ECB's Nouy says lacks powers to investigate money laundering

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank defended its supervisory work on Thursday, arguing that it has no power to uncover money laundering even at lenders under its direct supervision.

FILE PHOTO: Daniele Nouy, chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank, attends the 2016 Institute of International Finance (IIF) Spring Membership meeting in Madrid, Spain May 24, 2016. REUTERS/Susana Vera

The ECB is under fire over its handling of Latvian lender ABLV, which U.S. authorities have accused of engaging in large-scale money laundering for Russian clients.

“Breaches of anti-money laundering can be symptomatic of more deeply rooted governance deficiencies within a bank but the ECB does not have the investigative powers to uncover such deficiencies,” ECB Bank supervisory chief Daniele Nouy said in a statement. “This is the task of national anti-money laundering authorities.”

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Gareth Jones

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